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A Vince Velasquez roundtable

A group of friends discuss the nontender candidate

Philadelphia Phillies v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Nontender deadline is Wednesday and we here at the Good Phight have some ideas. We are always talking with each other about life, baseball, politics, whatever. Most of the discussions these days are about the team and how disappointed/apathetic/angry we are with them, but we also have some serious discussions as well. For example, what’s the best way to get a cheaper meal in a hospital cafeteria when you don’t work there (tip: wear a shirt and tie for guys. Makes them think you’re a doctor)

Yesterday, some of the writers here and some baseball friends were discussing the future of one Vince Velasquez. Here is the transcript of that roundtable discussion. Some are writers/contributors you know, some are old friends of the past.

Matt Winkelman: Right now, the top priority for the Phillies is does Cotham like Velasquez

Ethan Witte: He better not

Alex Carr: Very good question. I’m “meh” on the Phillies keeping Vince

EW: What else do you need to see from him?

AC: He has a legitimate role as a swingman, but there are a lot of other options out there

MW: I don’t know if you are getting more upside than Velasquez at the price, so if Cotham has a definitive plan, than sure. If not, dump him

Stephen Souden: I think he could be a really good full time reliever

MW: He looked much better at the end of the year

EW: I have no desire to watch him wear the red pinstripes anymore. Spend his [estimate arbitration salary] $4 million somewhere else

MW: I don’t like Velasquez as a RP. He doesn’t come to velocity immediately. The velocity is not actually plus in the bullpen. He doesn’t benefit from a shortened arsenal. He is best as a 4-pitch pitcher

EW: When he was a reliever, was there ever an instance where his average fastball velocity went up?

SS: I agree with that, but his history in extended outings is poor

AC: Agreed. That said, his $4 million is quite the price tag for a simple swingman

MW: [re: velocity] A little, but not as much as it did in the rotation late in the year

AC: Alex Wood intrigued me in [swingman] role too

MW: By average velocity, he was 11th on the Phillies last year. He was 4th among their starters!

SS: I also feel he could add a few MPH if he strictly pitches in short outings

EW: His money is best spent somewhere else. Let [Adonis] Medina/[Damon] Jones]/a free agent fight it out over the fifth starter’s role

MW: All I’m saying is they should let the new coach weigh in

AC: It’s either Velasquez, or you go after someone like Aaron Sanchez, Alex Wood, Mike Foltynewicz, Colin McHugh, etc.

SS: I like McHugh a lot. I wanted the Phillies to get him last offseason

AC: Same, Stephen. Perfect swingman and saves you some money. Also, if they do nontender Velasquez, they won’t have a hard time replacing him. They need a LR and a fifth starter at that point too.

EW: Don’t they have Suarez and Romero as LR *Ethan is stupid and didn’t realize LR meant “long reliever”

AC: Suarez probably starts in Triple-A

MW: Depends on his spring. COVID quarantine messed up his year

Lee Goldsmith: Only a couple of things I’d add to the well covered Velasquez terrain here. 1) I’d like to see them piggyback him. Maybe 4 and 4 with Medina every fifth day Keep Velasquez where he’s best and ease Medina into a starting role 2) Velasquez had a good year (for him) that was tarnished by the defense behind him. I think he’s better now than he’s been in years past

Jay Polinsky: I had nothing to back it up, but I wanted them to piggyback Velasquez and Pivetta to start last season

Dan Cormican: Still in favor of this. Pivetta can VV on his back and carry him away to Boston

AC: As did I - I don’t think the answer is piggybacking. I think, if you keep him you sign a SP5 (Richards, Walker, Hamels, etc.) and use VV as a SP6/long reliever. I can’t stand him, but he did have a decent year and his final few appearances were promising.

DC: I feel like Vince is our Groundhog’s Day. Every year, we all go “He’s terrible, let him go...unless they can finally unlock his talent and make him a good starter.” 2021: tear off the band-aid.

The Smarty Jones: If money was no object, and you wanted to keep him as a 6th starter, then I’d be fine. But we all know he’d be in the mix for a rotation spot, and Spring Training being what it is, he’d probably make a decent case for himself and then we’d be right back where we started

So there you go. Feel free to continue the discussion below.